There is much to look forward to in 2014. Some big things are on the horizon, both hobby and non-hobby related. First and foremost, my family will be expanding as my wife and I (mostly my wife doing all the hard work) add another little one to our ranks : )
This is by far the most exciting news for the new year, but part of preparing for that will be purchasing and moving into our first house. We've long outgrown our current place so it will be nice to finally have room again (and who knows, maybe I'll even have space for a sweet man cave / hobby room haha).
On the hobby front, I just took advantage of the awesome Holiday Sale over at Spikey Bits, so I'll have some fun new projects arriving soon. I can't wait to get started on these new kits and have already written lists to incorporate the new toys. One of these projects will be the biggest (and hopefully greatest looking) conversion I've ever attempted -- the only hint I can give you at this point is I hope this unit will still be available after the 6th edition codex update...
It's hard to believe this thing is still going. When I set out on this project, I had 3 main army collections all mostly unpainted and a good portion unbuilt and still in their boxes. It's been a long but mostly steady journey building, painting, and playing with each force.
This past weekend I was able to try out the new Space Marines codex at 'Slay Ride', an annual tournament event run by one of the local game clubs, the Maryland Wargaming Collective -- this is the second MWC event I've attended and it was an absolute blast! They are a great group of gamers so if you're local you should definitely check them out. This was a 3 round, 2250pt tournament with double Force Org and Forge World permitted. What really made this event unique were the special stratagem cards (which were earned the first time an objective was claimed & held for 1 player turn); these cards varied in ability and duration but just to give you an idea, some granted +1/-1 to reserves for a turn, or Skyfire/Interceptor to a unit for the entire game, OR in rare but extremely awesome circumstances you could earn a card that grants Special Issue Ammunition to a unit for the duration of the Tournament! This definitely added some flavor to the games and encouraged players to factor in potentially game-changing abilities into their strategies -- hiding/castle-ing in a corner was far more risky as your opponent could end up snagging all those valuable stratagems. This led to much more active and exciting matches.
Good news everyone, it looks like GW finally learned what incentive means (and no, bundling $500 worth of models at no discount that can be purchased with one simple click doesn't count). I was checking out the website earlier and was shocked at the price tags on some of the new holiday bundles. To be clear, I'm usually shocked by the new prices cause they are outrageously high, but this time I was shocked to see them at closer to reasonable levels.
After a short break away from all things 40k, I'm back with a couple more Dark Eldar projects. I finally started painting my Cronos and on the conversion table is this in progress Drazhar. When I saw the new Shadowblade model I immediately started thinking up candidates for kitbashing. Drazhar won out this time as the pose of Shadowblade just screams "darting strike"(and the old Drazhar model just doesn't cut it next to the new DE).
I've been meaning to take better pictures of my Dark Eldar for awhile now. It seems I waited a little too long as I forgot the best camera settings for this type of photography. Nonetheless, these are still higher quality than my phone's camera so I figured I'd post these up until I can build a better light box and learn how to use my camera again.
I'm fully recovered from NOVA and figured I should do this recap sooner than later before I forget everything. I didn't really take notes and didn't take a lot of pictures during each game but I remember enough to at least give a brief rundown of my matches. Before I get into all of that, here's my army list so you know what I'm working with:
I still have a bunch of stuff to cover in regards to the NOVA Open, but in light of the new Space Marine release I figured I would quickly throw this one out there since the new codex dropped right as I was having this post-event thought -- playing large model count / horde style lists at a large event is tedious.
Gotta love getting things early! This is why I will never pre-order from GW again -- I've done so in the past and even if the store had my order in the back, they wouldn't give it to me till the official release date. Just another reason why independent FLGSs are awesome and you should support them when you can!
Wych squad is just about ready to join my other troops in their foam tray. I still have some highlights and cleanup to do but given the short amount of time I have before NOVA, nothing is going to be perfect. I do like this general color scheme and the pale skin and red hair really make these Wyches stand out from the Warriors.
I was able to get some much needed practice games in yesterday at a local RTT. It was a great opportunity for the local guys to try out their 1850 lists in a mostly NOVA format -- there was slightly different mission scoring and the group employs official chess timers/clocks set to 1 hour per player. While I believe the intent of the timer is a good thing (ultimately to discourage intentional slow-play and winning by means other than playing out the full game) I think it has some unintended consequences; it doesn't accurately account for your opponent's activity within your own turn, namely the assault phase, overwatch, or waiting for saving throws to be made.
My new case for transporting my Dark Eldar army arrived this weekend. It's my first case from KR Multicase, but it definitely wont be my last. The whole KR system makes a lot of sense, especially if you have a larger collection and play multiple armies. Up until now, I've used Sabol's Army Transport bags and foam which have served me well for many years. Honestly, they make a great product as well and you'll be hard pressed to beat Sabol's price point. But the reason I went with KR over Sabol for my Dark Eldar is simple; custom cut soft foam.
This is my test model for my Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors. If I can get all my warriors up to this table standard by NOVA I'll be happy. Here's some more WIP shots of the rest. Next up is the Wych squad.
There was no way my Dark Eldar army was going to fit within my old display board / tray, so this morning I went to the craft store to pick up something larger. Ended up having just enough space; not a whole lot of free space, but enough to add some extras at the back. I snapped some pictures at each step so I'll let them do most of the talking.
My Eldar allied detachment is getting closer to completion. My 1850 list is locked and I have had several weeks to mull it over; it certainly has its weaknesses (almost every list does) but I'm still very excited about it and hope it will turn out to be flexible enough in a diverse tournament setting.
I recently completed assembling my 1850 list that I'm planning to run at NOVA next month. Typically, I'll prime a model or unit immediately after the glue is dry, but recently the heat and humidity have made that impossible. During this time I've been able to take a long look at my assembly line process (since this is pretty much all I've been able to accomplish) and right off the bat I see where I could change things up to be more efficient and save myself a bunch of time later on in the painting process.
Here's my Farseer on a Jetbike. It was a fairly simple kitbash using the new plastic Farseer and a Reaver. I had to green stuff the mid-section of the torso to work with the Reaver legs on the bike and also to extend the reach/position of both arms. With the flash on, you can clearly see these areas on the model.
45 days till the NOVA 2013! I've only been working on my Dark Eldar / Eldar army and there's no turning back now. I have my work cut out for me but feel confident I can get things in order over the next month and a half.
It's been a good month; some much needed vacation with the family, more hobby progress on my Dark Eldar (and some Necrons), and the most games I've played in a long time.
The Dark Eldar are coming along, slowly but surely. I was in between a couple of paint schemes and finally made a decision. I was even able to get a couple small practice games in with my awesome wife who agreed to play some 40k for Father's day :)
Over the past week, I've been able to spend some more time with the new Eldar codex digging a little deeper and challenging some of my initial impressions on the latest 6th edition book. The more time I spend with it the more I like it! It's a very solid 6th edition codex for a number of reasons, but the best thing I like about it (and what I've come to love most about 6th edition) is the sheer number of options it contains. Just as the 6th edition rulebook really shook up the way the game is played, each 6th edition codex continues that trend and pushes the game further away from the mono-build, mechanized spam lists of 5th edition (which was more than a little boring by the end).
The new Eldar codex is the first 6th edition codex I've purchased so far, and I have to say that the new hardback format is nice. The higher quality binding almost makes you forget about the crazy high price tag for these new books. I honestly didn't mind the old softbacks, especially after I had all of mine spiral-bound at kinkos, but at least the new hardbacks can lay open on their own just fine.
Anyway, moving on to the actual content of the book... there's some really nice entries, some overpriced/overcosted entries, and a lot of potential combinations that remain to be seen.
The wait is almost over! I plan on picking up the new Eldar codex first thing tomorrow and spending a good part of the weekend going through it. Like everyone else, I'll probably do some write ups on what I find interesting and all that jazz. My initial focus will be evaluating what this new book can do for my Dark Eldar and Marine armies. I'd like to nail down a couple 1850 point lists so I can plan out what all I need to get done between now and the end of August. It should be a fun ride :)
We all know Flyers are one of the biggest changes to the game with 6th edition 40k. What's interesting is how the impact of Flyers continues to evolve from the initial release of the rule book with each new codex that gets updated. I remember reading a number of articles on what people thought of the new Flyer unit type and how it would shape the game we all know and love. Early on, only a small handful of armies actually had access to flyers and while Allies certainly opened up those options to other books who didn't have any, it still took time for players to begin regularly incorporating them into their lists.
Hobby time has been tight this past month, but the one thing I can do pretty much anywhere is list build in my head. I'm focusing on 1850 points since that seems to be the magic number around here for any organized play. I also need to make a decision on which army to prepare for NOVA, now only a few short months away. The Necrons aren't really in the running anymore as I'm more interested in working on my other armies and I'm sure they will be well represented at the tournament anyway. That leaves Dark Eldar and Raptors as main army choices. Depending on the upcoming Eldar release, they are certainly under consideration as an allied detachment for either army if I can get them ready in time. So with that being said, here's the 2 most recent list ideas I've been kicking around. I'll start with the Raptors since this is the most recent (and I still have no idea which direction to go with DE at 1850):
Necrons were out in full force this week at Adepticon 2013; over half of the top 16 armies contained at least a portion of the robots. I expected to see more Tau, but I guess the shortage in their supply chain made it difficult to get them ready in time for this event. Hopefully they'll be able to curve some of the airforce lists, and if not them, here's hoping for the Eldar to get some nice counters to this menace.
Congrats to Nick N. who took the top spot this year with his Necrons / Paladin army. Congrats to Tony K. as well for making the final table yet again and almost winning the whole thing for more years than we can count ;) Very interesting list I might add.
One thing I regularly screw up when working out assaults is the Weapon Skill or 'To Hit' chart. Why? I guess I assume it should more closely follow the Strength vs Toughness chart / number distribution. It would make more sense too, in my opinion. Maybe I'm overlooking something integral to the game's balance, but I can't for the life of me understand how they arrived at the current Assault (WS vs WS) to hit chart. If you can offer some insight, please do share. But it seems to me that this chart is skewed. The best you can do is 3+ to hit even if you are WS 10 striking WS 1, and the worst vice versa is 5+. Yet shooting, many units/models can attain 2+ to hit regardless of who they are targeting.
UPDATE: Since Faeit has unfortunately been shut down, try 3++ for the most recent Eldar news.
Everyone likes a good rumor, but these have me especially interested. Eldar are one of the most iconic armies in all of 40k and their imagery (along with the old Catachan jungle fighters) is partly responsible for sucking me in to this sci-fi universe way back when I was an impressionable middle-schooler :)
This is one of the first images I can recall seeing before I knew anything about Warhammer 40k, but one that got me interested and asking questions.
After far too many months (read: years) my Dark Eldar have finally made the transition from sprue to realspace! This past month, my family has been epicly sick, but somewhere during that time of suffering I was able to put together 75% of my Dark Eldar kits -- easily enough to start trying out several lists I've been kicking around for them (and how fitting that this truly evil army was borne during such a terrible time). I can only hope that they bring that same amount of pain down on my opponents... I kid ;)
There was a small 3 round 1500pt tournament over the weekend at one of the local shops I frequent. Since I have recently been working on converting my marines into a Raptors army, I decided I should take them out for a spin. This was my list:
Hey, speaking of copyright infringement... For all of GW's recent lawyer badgering over this book, you would think they would have done their homework before committing the same crime against Dr. Plait, haha.
So I finally had a reason to bust out my Terraclips set last week and it was pretty fun putting a board together for the first time. I will say that 2 boxes of the clips are probably necessary unless you're prepared to get creative with the limitations of only one box, but you'll notice this board is not regulation size (36" x 36") and we definitely could have used more terrain in general. But this was just a learning/introduction game anyway, so no big deal. Ideally, I'd add the Buildings of Malifaux set to this one, which is the Streets of Malifaux. Anyway, it had been a long time since I actually played the game. Too long, in fact. I ended up forgetting the differences between combat actions and casting actions, and how to resolve each type of duel.
What a great weekend -- the Raven's won the superbowl, I actually accomplished some painting, and to top it all off I managed to snag one of those awesome VIP bags along with my NOVA Open ticket! If you want one, better register soon; I hear they are going fast. This could not have worked out any better as I had already decided on a KR bag for transporting my Dark Eldar, and of course am looking forward to attending the NOVA again, so win win!
January turned out to be a productive month hobby-wise. I started out working on Dark Eldar, preparing to convert 20 Dark Vengeance Cultists into Wracks (which I still may tackle at some point) and then turning back to my unbuilt / unfinished Space Marine kits. One of my biggest detractors from diving head first into a new army project is the fact that I have so many incomplete models from my earlier armies. My Necrons are in a good place at this point, but I have to be honest, I'm not happy with my Raven Guard at all. Oddly enough, one of the reasons I picked the army in the first place was it seemed to have a simple, easy to paint scheme (I also enjoyed the fluff when I got around to reading it). Unless you are gifted in the art of highlighting black armor, this paint scheme is one of the more difficult ones to pull off well so they pop on the tabletop. I dread the thought of highlighting all the black armor on my bikes -- this is why they look exactly the same as they did the night I "finished" speed painting them to the minimum requirement for NOVA 2 years ago. I enjoy the way the army plays on the table but really wish it looked better doing so. I'm really pleased with how my Necrons turned out appearance-wise, but not as into the way that army plays (there's a noticeable lack of speed and in general, the 'crons are pretty boring). I want my future armies to be fun to play AND look good.
Now that I have a phone that has a working camera again I thought I'd share a few shots from today's game, my first of the new year. And boy was it a big one: 3 on 3, 5500pts per side! I brought my 2000pt bike army and was teamed up with 2000pts of Imperial Guard and 1500pts of Dark Angel reinforcements. We were facing 2000pts of Tyranids, 2000pts of Chaos, and another 1500pts of Chaos reinforcements.
By now, I'm sure most of you have read the new FAQs (version 1.2) that were released this week. If you have and were interested in the changes to Dark Eldar like I was, then you too had your high hopes crushed. If you haven't read it, then maybe this will save you some time.
I have a host of various hobby projects on my table at the moment and one of them includes a number of Land Speeders. I'll dive into the details of this project when it is a little further along, but for now I wanted to raise a question about employing the use of Deep Strike as it pertains to a Land Speeder Squadron (more than 1 speeder taken as a single unit). I may have simply overlooked the governing rule, but when a Land Speeder Squadron arrives via Deep Strike (rules on pg. 36) how do you place subsequent speeder models after the position of the first has been determined? Does the flying base of the 2nd & 3rd models need to touch the flying base of the 1st model, or do they simply need to maintain unit coherency, which for vehicle squadrons is 4" (rules on pg. 77) ?